Child Suspension or Exclusion

8 Strategies for Dealing with Child Suspension or Exclusion 

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Having a child suspended or excluded from school can be an incredibly stressful and challenging situation for both the child and the parents. However, there are several strategies and resources that can help families navigate this difficult time. This article outlines eight tips for UK parents on constructively dealing with a school suspension or exclusion.

1. Find Out About the Specific Reasons for Suspension/Exclusion

The first step is to fully understand why your child has been suspended or excluded. Request a meeting with the headteacher to discuss the specific reasons and evidence for their decision. Understanding the details will allow you to work with the school on solutions and appeal if necessary.

2. Discuss Behaviour Expectations with Your Child

Have an open and honest conversation with your child about what behaviours led to the suspension/exclusion. Explain why these actions were inappropriate and discuss how they meet behaviour expectations going forward. This models accountability for their role.

3. Evaluate Additional Support Needs

Before your child returns to school, or moves to another school in the area, reflect on whether your child needs additional support managing emotions, social situations, academics, etc. Discuss with the school providing an evaluation for learning disabilities, mental health needs or an IEP. Extra services can help address underlying causes of behaviours.

4. Appeal the Decision if Appropriate

If you feel the suspension/exclusion was unwarranted, you have the right to appeal the decision. Write a formal letter to the discipline committee citing reasons the punishment was unfair or excessive. Provide supplementary materials like academic records or psychological assessments.

5. Enrol in Alternative Education Temporarily

For longer exclusions, you will need to enrol your child in an alternative education programme so they can continue learning. Local authorities are legally required to provide alt-ed like homeschooling support, online classes or programmes at another site.

6. Find Out if the School Utilises Governance Experts

Ask the headteacher whether your child’s school works with governance experts in London or other parts of the UK to shape discipline policies and processes. Many schools collaborate with London Governance experts to ensure best practices in governance. Understanding their approach can help inform discussions.

7. Establish Consistent Routines at Home

Set clear daily routines for your child around learning, chores, physical activity, technology use, etc. Structure and consistency help children feel secure and minimise opportunities for mischief. Reward positive behaviours.

8. Check-in on Mental Health

Suspensions and exclusions can take a toll on children’s mental health and self-esteem. Monitor their moods for signs of depression or anxiety. Provide reassurance and consider taking them to see a counsellor if needed. Services like Place2Be offer mental health support.

Dealing with a suspension or exclusion can be difficult, but staying positive and proactive is important. Focus efforts on setting your child up for future success. With parental support and school collaboration, many excluded students successfully get back on track academically and behaviourally. Implementing even a few of these tips can help ensure a constructive process.

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